Friday, May 14, 2010
What Happens at the Perfect Church Service
"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.
This isn't my church (we don't have a cool, darkly draped stage) but I have been to churches like this. I found this on the awesome if somewhat biting blog The Church of No People
I heard Tony Campolo in a workshop comment on contemporary worship songs as tending toward "Seven-Eleven Songs"--"The same eleven words repeated seven times" (or maybe it was vice-versa). At any rate, at a recent church-approved book study, I stepped into a mud-hole of confusion by quoting from the old hymn, "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past" and received blank looks from my fellow book study participants. We haven't had hymnals in our sanctuary EVER--and we only sing our denomination's signature hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" (without the awesome pipe organ intro) on Reformation Sunday.
Yep, I'm Lutheran by worship. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Lutheran, to be specific, although my husband was born and raised Wisconsin Synod (and, yes, we have our doctrinal points of difference).
I was describing my multi-denominational upbringing to a good friend who is a Methodist pastor, explaining, "I was Disciple of Christ by family background, Presbyterian by birth, and Lutheran by marriage--"
Grinning, my friend added, "And now you're Methodist by the grace of God." As time has gone by, I see he was pretty well on target. I consider myself a Thinking Christian, and don't mind looking across the denominational board for my churchly sustenance. In addition to the Bible, I read stuff by Phyllis Tickle, C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonheoffer. Google 'em if you aren't familiar with them.
My women's study group is reading "Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters" by Timothy Keller. I don't know yet if there's a chapter about making false idols out of our church communities, but there should be one. Read this book, and check out his other title, "The Prodigal God" Both will get you thinking!